Gaming Console 101

Can PS5 Play PS2 Games?

PS5 and the new gaming hardware is advancing the industry by leaps and bounds. But as amazing as the PS5 is, you can’t help but make feel a bit nostalgic for the simpler times when we were kids, sitting cross-legged in front of our bulky CRT TVs and firing up our PS2s.

The PS2 was a gaming icon of its time, and while the graphics were still boxy, it was a significant step up from the highly rudimentary graphics on PS1.

With its vast library of unforgettable games like GTA Vice City and San Andreas, Gran Turismo 4, Final Fantasy X, Tekken 5, Shadow of the Colossus, etc, not to mention the laughter-filled memories it gave us of a rather blissful time, you may wonder sometimes “Can PS5 play PS2 games?”, “Can you relive your memories?”

There is good and bad news. The bad news is that PS5 CANNOT support PS2 games in the traditional sense. Meaning you CANNOT put a PS2 disk in a PS5 and expect it to work. PS5 is ONLY backward compatible with PS4 games.

The good news, however, is that with the service called PlayStation Now, you can play a wide range of PS2 games that have been made available to this service. The only catch is that you have to pay for a PlayStation Now subscription.

PS5’s Backward Compatibility with PS2’s Disks

So, can the PS5 really play PS2 games? The answer, unfortunately, is not as straightforward as you’d think. You see, backward compatibility is a fickle beast and this is particularly true with PS5.

As far as the PS2 game disks go, no, you cannot simply take the PS2 disk and stuff it into the PS5 and expect it to work. Trust me, I have tried and it fell almost like attempting to put a VHS tape into a Blu-ray Player.

While the PS5 does offer backward compatibility, it is ONLY limited to PS4 games.

And PS5 is very strict with this. In fact, PS5 does not even support PS3 games that were playable on PS4. For instance, if you bought a GTA 5 on a PS3, while it would work on a PS4, it wouldn’t work on a PS5.

So Can PS5 Play PS2 Games?

Can PS5 Play PS2 Games
Source: PlayStation

There is a silver lining to the cloud here though. Fortunately, a wide range of PS2 games can be played on PS5 through digital downloads from the store.

HOWEVER, for this, you will need to pay for a subscription called PlayStation Now. Think of PlayStation Now as the Netflix of gaming on PS5. With a monthly subscription, you get a repository of games, old and new, that you can download and play.

PS2 Games Available on PlayStation Now

While PlayStation Now does have a huge selection of old and new games. It is possible the PS2 game of your liking may not be available.

The following is a list of the PS2 games available on PlayStation Now.

PS2 Games on PSNow
Ape Escape 2
Arc the Lad: Twilight
Dark Cloud
Dark Cloud 2
God of War
God of War 2
Hot Shots Gold
Hot Shots Tennis
Jak 2
Jak and Daxter
Jak 3
Jak X: Combat Racing
Okage: Shadow King
Red Faction
Red Faction 2
Rise of the Kasai
Rogue Galaxy
Star Wars: Bounty Hunger
Star Was: Jedi Starfighter
Star Wars: Racer Revenge
The Mark of Kri
War of the Monsters
Wild Arms 3

Note that whether a PS2 game would be made available for PS Now depends upon the developer of the game.

It is for this reason that the majority of the popular titles such as the GTA series, Final Fantasy games, Metal Gear series, etc are missing from the selection.

So, if you have a rare gem of a game or a lesser-known title, you might be out of luck.

The PS2 Legacy

The PS2 legacy is not one that can be forgotten easily, particularly by the millennials that shaped the gaming world as we know it today.

The PlayStation 2 took the world by storm back in the early 2000s, becoming the best-selling video game console of all time.

It boasted an impressive lineup of iconic games that still hold a special place in our hearts: the gravity-defying adventures in “Ratchet & Clank,” the emotionally charged journey in “Shadow of the Colossus,” or the epic battles in “God of War.” Not to mention the countless nights spent racing in “Gran Turismo” or sneaking around in “Metal Gear Solid.”

The charm of PS2 games wasn’t just about the gameplay, it shaped the majority of the popular genres as we know them today such as FPS, RPG, and Action Adventure.

So while the PS2 graphics may not be as sleek looking or life-like as PS5’s, the memories that we made, the laughter, the emotions, the split-screen gameplay sessions, the novelty we experienced, and the gaming parties we had cannot be replaced by the shiny new graphics of PS5.

Atif Qazi

Atif Qazi is the founder of and a huge gaming nerd. Thanks to the vast gaming experience under his belt, you can often find him writing detailed pieces of content on gaming hardware and console. But in all honesty, nothing gives him more pleasure than 'one-shotting' everyone as a stealth archer in ESO: Skyrim.

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